Having the Last Word? Will Making and Contestation in Australia

30 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016

See all articles by Cheryl Tilse

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland

Ben White

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Linda Rosenman

University of Queensland

Rachel Feeney

University of Queensland

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Increased longevity and the need to fund living and care expenses across late old age, greater proportions of blended and culturally diverse families and concerns about the increasing possibility of contestation of wills highlight the importance of understanding current will making practices and intentions. Yet, there is no current national data on the prevalence of wills, intended beneficiaries, the principles and practices surrounding will making and the patterns and outcomes of contestation. This project sought to address this gap.

This report summarises the results of a four year program of research examining will making and will contestation in Australia. The project was funded by the Australian Research Council (LP10200891) in conjunction with seven Public Trustee Organisations across Australia. The interdisciplinary research team with expertise in social science, social work, law and social policy are from The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and Victoria University. The project comprised five research studies: a national prevalence survey, a judicial case review, a review of Public Trustee files, an online survey of will drafters and in-depth interviews with key groups of interest.

The report outlines key findings. On the basis of the evidence provided recommendations are presented to support the achievement of these policy goals: increasing will making in the Australian population, ensuring that the wills of those Australians who have taken this step reflect their current situation and intentions, and reducing will contestation.

Keywords: Will making, Will contestation, Succession law, Estate planning

Suggested Citation

Tilse, Cheryl and Wilson, Jill and White, Ben and Rosenman, Linda and Feeney, Rachel, Having the Last Word? Will Making and Contestation in Australia (2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808919 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2808919

Cheryl Tilse

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Jill Wilson

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Ben White (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/whiteb/

Linda Rosenman

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Rachel Feeney

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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